Adana T/P48 and Adana P71

Adana’s most suc­cess­ful powered machine with a 9½” x 7″ platen

Adana had a his­tory of pro­du­cing machines powered by treadle (and not hand) before the T/P48 appeared.  A pat­ent held by the founder of Adana (Don­ald Aspin­all) and an engin­eer demon­strates the prin­ciple from the 1920s; and the firm made an Adana Treadle Platen around 1926.  This fam­ily of machines has an unusu­al approach of a D‑shaped drum to act as ink­ing cyl­in­der with the flat area hold­ing the chase.  Ink­ing rollers revolve around the drum and on to the forme — this whole assembly moves to impress on a stat­ic back platen hold­ing the paper.

Oth­er con­struc­tion details led to a loy­al fol­low­ing of users: the stand was made from tubu­lar steel, the main frame from a light alloy.  This kept the weight to around 2¾ cwt.  Cast iron was used where needed for strength: the platen and side arms.

In use, the unusu­al oper­at­ing prin­ciple has some pos­it­ive side effects — the feed is to a stat­ic bed (as only the platen moves) so is easi­er to use than a mov­ing back platen; the ink­ing is adjustable and uses more rollers than oth­er Adana machines; and the machine is chain-driv­en so there is less fatigue on the operator.

The T/P48 was launched as the T/P47 at the Brit­ish Indus­tries Fair in 1947 but restric­tions on UK man­u­fac­tur­ers meant the machine was not advert­ised in the UK until August 1949.  Incid­ent­ally the T/P stands for Treadle/Power as the machine could be powered by foot or elec­tri­city.  This serves to high­light the appar­ent arbit­rary nature of Adana’s nam­ing system!

In 1971 the machine was updated as the P71– but this appeared to be cos­met­ic: the open sides were pan­elled and the gear­ing was amended.  Anoth­er ver­sion of the machine was sold with slower power for use in schools and took the name P71S.